Zinfandel of the Month is a new feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. For a little background please see the first installment published three months ago. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.
The January Zinfandel of the Month is the 2005 Turley Rattlesnake Ridge.
Turley Wine Cellars was founded in 1993 by Larry Turley and specializes in small lots of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah from some of California’s most historic and treasured vineyards.
Rattlesnake Ridge is an estate-owned and certified organic vineyard. Located at the top of Howell Mountain at about 2600 feet, the vines see more sun here then they would on the valley floor; however, it is much colder due to the elevation, and can even snow in the winter. All combined, these factors make for a truly unique wine: bold, strong tannins and an acid backbone that can only come from Howell Mountain.
Rusty in color. 15.1% ABV. Red fruits, pepper and anise on the nose. Medium body with strong acidity. Boysenberry, plum, raspberry compote, licorice and pepper on the palate. This has Howell Mountain written all over it. Light tannins. Drink soon.
My rating: 92 points.
With all due respect to Carlisle and Bedrock, Turley is unequivocally the best Zinfandel producer in California. Exceptional vineyards and no detail spared in the winemaking process. The wines are simply better than ever.
The wait to get on the mailing list at Turley is relatively short. Take advantage of that.
In other news Turley recently opened a Tasting Room in Amador at the location of the former Karly Winery. Without question it’s worth a visit if you are in the area.
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